après after

It is with trepidation that I read the opening words of in the title bar:

Open access, open source, open to all.

I had thought of the Humanities Commons as being a professional site for those actually working in the academy. My association with the Humanities has been one of avocation. I neither publish in journals nor teach. I have occupied a little niche in contributing to discussion lists and commenting on blogs. Back in the heyday of early academic blogging (2003) I was an avid pollinator. But dwelt in the interstices, never blogging under my own shingle.

That changed in 2006. I was diagnosed as being seropositive (HIV+). Of course, this was not a life sentence. It is a chronically manageable condition. One of the side effects: I began blogging. Not about the disease not about my coping. But about literature.

So Berneval was born. Named after the place in France to where Oscar Wilde retreated after his release from Reading Gaol. And tagged with the subtitle “après after” to mark the time following the learning of the news of being seropositive. An act of determination to document acts of reading.

Berneval is a commonplace book. It comments on contemporary poetry, garden writing, food writing, paratexts, ephemera, pop songs and intellectual-cultural matters generally. It is devoted to learning about ways of knowing and ways of being with both epistemological and ethical sensitivity.